Fairbanks forward Plante makes NCAA D1 commitment
March 4, 2020
By Danny Martin, News-Miner
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are pleased to announce that NAHL Top Prospects forward Mason Plante has committed to play NCAA Division 1 college hockey for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in the WCHA.
The 19-year-old native of Marshall, Minnesota, who’s in his first season with the Midwest Division leaders, verbally committed a week ago to the Nanooks, of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
“It’s a dream come true. The goal is to get to the next level,” Plante, who committed Feb. 26, said after Tuesday’s practice at the Big Dipper Ice Arena, where the Ice Dogs host the Northeast Generals, of Attleboro, Massachusetts, in a non-divisional series at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Plante (5’9/165) admires UAF head coach Erik Largen and the Nanooks program. “Just the way that they handle themselves,” Plante said. “I talked with a couple of guys, and they just do all the right things. I think coach (Joe, a UAF assistant coach) Howe is from Minnesota, and he’s a good guy. And Largie just knows his way around hockey, and it’s a good program.”
Plante is the eighth player on this season’s Ice Dogs roster to commit to a Division I hockey program.
“They (UAF coaches) just like his skill set,” Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart said after Tuesday’s practice. “They see a lot more potential in him. He’s got good hands in tight, he’s scored at every level he’s been at. So it’s a good combination of skill and potential that allowed them to make a decision that they wanted him to be a Nanook.”
Plante is the ninth-leading scorer for the Ice Dogs, who lead the Midwest Division at 37-10-1-2 for 77 points in the standings. Plante has contributed 29 points from 11 goals and 18 assists in 46 games. He was also selected to and played in the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the NAHL Selects red team.
Stewart said Plante has traits, which don’t show up on a scoresheet but were admirable to the Nanooks coaches. “He’s just hungry and he’s a competitor, and he has a good demeanor in the way he goes about things,” said Stewart, who’s from Elk River, Minnesota.